By Rica S. Facundo
KATIPUNAN VENDORS finally have their livelihood back this February after securing the necessary permits, said two sellers.
A hold up last January allegedly involving a student from Ateneo caused the entire Loyola Heights community of cigarette, fruits, and candy vendors to momentarily suspend their main source of income.
“Ilang araw hindi ako nakatinda dito kasi hindi dumating ng permit ko. Ngayon lang dumating ng permit ko kaya ngyaon lang ako nakatinda,” said Kuya Boboy who sells buko juice outside of Bo’s Coffee on the corner of Benito Gonzales and Esteban Abada.
(It has been days since I was last able to sell because I was waiting for my permit to come. My permit only came recently which is why I can sell now.)
“Nagbigay kami ng permit dahil may nagholdup ng estudiyante diyan . Vendors daw naghold up tapos ng simula na walang vendors ditto magtitinda kung walang permit,” said Kuya Boboy.
(They started giving us permits because of the hold up of a student. They said it was the vendors that were responsible for it. That’s when they started disallowing vendors to sell if they didn’t have a permit.”
Even though the vendors like Kuya Boboy were affected by the incident the holdup was the only part of the story they were given. “Ngayon lang sila naghanap ng permit sa amin mga vendors tapos yung sagot nila ay may naghold up daw sa Ateneo.”(They only started asking for a permit now from the vendors. They’re answer to us was that there was a hold up in Ateneo.)
“Nagkaepecto kami dahil hindi nahuli yun,” he said. (We were affected because they didn’t catch whoever did it.) Since the culprit has not been caught they don’t know whether there’s enough evidence.
Everyone is affected
Kuya Larry who sells fruits near Rustans on Esteban Ebada wasn’t even aware of the incident when it happened. Even he was affected even though the holdup did not occur on his street.
“Wala naman nangyari sa puwesto ko. Sa kabila may ngyayari pero dito wala. Nasa barangay lang ako naka alam na may nangyari pala doon.” (Nothing happened near my stand. It happened on the other side. It was only when I was in the Barangay when I found out.)
Permits and permission
Katipunan has been the home base for Kuya Boboy and Kuya Larry for one to two years respectively.
“Nagtanong ako na bakit na kailangan ng permit dito na tagal tagal ako natinda dito tapos ngayon lang naghanap ng permit” said Kuya Boboy.(I asked why they needed a permit when I’ve been here for so long.) He got his permit yesterday, February 3.
Even without having a permit, they were not taking up space without permission.
“Paalam ako sa mayari ng building,” said Kuya Larry. (The owner of the building where my stand is knows that my fruit stand is outside.
“Alam nila pero okay lang. Tulong din sakin yan ma’am kasi may mga anak ako may nag aral kaya tulungan nila.” (They know about it but it’s okay with them. They also help me ma’am because they know that I have kids who are studying so they want to help me out.) Now he can continue to sell
Livelihood goes on
According to Kuya Boboy, there are currently only eight Buko vendors allowed to sell within the whole Loyola community, which is less than before.
Even if some have lost their source of livelihood now, he adds that “Wala naman nag reklamo.” (No one complained.)
As of today, no one knows who the real culprit was but at least now the livelihood of these Katipunan vendors can go on.